There's no denying at this point that technology is a necessary part of everyone's daily lives. At times it even replaces people in the working world, from self-checkout stations in grocery stores to online banking. So, the question must be asked: how much can technology replace? As a music education major, I have wondered if my future job may be at risk, especially with the rise in popularity of piano tutorials. Many of these apps or YouTube videos claim to help beginners learn quickly and at the same level as students who have taken private lessons in person. However, no matter what these new methods offer, nothing is the same as teaching face-to-face.
Working with other people on music creates connections like no other. Throughout my life, I've met some of my closest friends and greatest mentors through my love of music. My best friend and I got to know each other through high school orchestra class. Without this experience, we never would've become as close as we are now. One of my best mentors is my private piano teachers. Not only did she teach me about piano, but she helped me grow. After knowing her for almost eight years, she is one of my closest friends. One day, I hope I will have the same influence on students I teach. The convenience of the technology cannot replace the friendships made through the power of music.
Private lessons offer a higher-quality learning experience. Although apps show the basics, they cannot offer a personalized lesson. For example, a video may show you which keys to press on the piano, but none of them will give you multiple fingering options, which is a vital part of playing the instrument. A person can also give vital feedback that you won't get from any machine. Tutorials show you what to do but having another person there to interpret your playing is the only way to get better. They can also help you with more detailed concepts. Apps couldn't describe the intricacies of dynamics or music theory in a way that every student could understand. It's these details found in private lessons that allow for all students to succeed.
There are many opportunities I would've missed out on if I learned through an app, most importantly the opportunity to perform. Through my lessons, I had an annual piano recital, allowing for a whole new learning experience. Performing for others makes for confident, expressive players, something technology alone can't do.
Although technology is amazing, nothing can replace lessons in person. If you're unsure whether it's something you want to take on, then online tutorials can be great at teaching the basics and getting you acquainted with your new instrument. For serious musicians, however, they don't have a place.